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Ghana drops to 120th from 118th on ITU’s global ICT rankings

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Ghana has dropped to 120th from the 118th position on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) global ICT rankings, according to new figures released September 15, 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland and emailed to ghanabusinessnews.com.

The new figures captured in ITU’s report “Measuring the Information Society 2011” subtitled ICT Development Index (IDI), shows that Ghana scored 1.90 points out of ten in the year 2010.

The report also compares ICT indexes of 2010 and 2008 among 152 countries worldwide.

Ghana placed 10th in Africa beating Nigeria (11th), Zimbabwe and Senegal. Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Cape Verde and Botswana placed first, second, third, fourth and fifth respectively on the continent.

According to the ITU, the ICT arm of the United Nations, Ghana placed 118 with 1.68 points in 2008 meaning the country’s global rank change fell by two spots.

The IDI used eleven indicators under three sub-indices namely ICT infrastructure and access, ICT usage and ICT skills to determine the rankings of each country.

The eleven indicators are Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants; Mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants; International Internet bandwidth (bit/s) per Internet user; Percentage of households with a computer; Percentage of households with Internet access at home; Percentage of individuals using the Internet; Fixed (wired)-broadband Internet subscriptions per 100 inhabitants; Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants; Adult literacy rate; Gross enrolment ratio (secondary and tertiary level).

Under the infrastructure and access indicator, Ghana was 121st with 2.23 points in 2010 as compared to 118th with 1.92points in 2008.

On the usage of ICT, the country recorded 0.32 points placing 126 in 2010 as against 0.15 points placing 128th in 2008

The ICT Skills index puts Ghana at the 119th position with 4.41 points in 2010 compared to the same position 119th, but with 4.26 points in 2008.

Korea topped the overall rankings followed by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Finland.

All countries included in the IDI improved their scores this year, underlining the increasing pervasiveness of ICTs in today’s global information society.

“While the IDI leaders are all from the developed world, it is extremely encouraging to see that the most dynamic performers are developing countries,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General. “The ‘mobile miracle’ is putting ICT services within reach of even the most disadvantaged people and communities. Our challenge now is to replicate that success in broadband.”

The report also noted that global broadband prices have dropped 50% between 2008 and 2010 but there is still a huge difference in broadband speed and quality between countries.

Information and communication technology (ICT) uptake continues to accelerate worldwide, spurred by a steady fall in the price of telephone and broadband Internet services, says the ITU.

On the spread of mobile networks in developing countries, ITU said it remains buoyant, with 20% growth in mobile subscriptions over the past year and no signs of a slowdown while with developed countries, mobile cellular penetration has reached saturation, with average penetration now over 100% at end 2010, compared with 70% in developing countries.

“Mobile broadband (‘3G’) services are also spreading quickly; by end 2010, 154 economies worldwide had launched 3G networks. Wireless broadband Internet access remains the strongest growth sector in developing countries, with mobile broadband growing by 160% between 2009 and 2010. Countries registering the highest gains in the IDI ‘ICT use’ sub-index are mostly those which have achieved a sizeable increase in mobile broadband subscriptions.”

With more than five billion subscriptions and global population coverage of over 90%, mobile cellular is now de facto ubiquitous, it indicated.

In April this year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) placed Ghana 99th in world ICT rankings according to its Global Information Technology Report 2010–2011.

Out of the overall mark of 10, Ghana scored 3.4 in the year under review as against 3.3 in 2009-2010.

By Ekow Quandzie

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